Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So much to write about, so little time!

I will try to find time to write some posts soon.  I have to tell you all about what a great big sister Kayla is, getting on a schedule with two kiddos and hopefully cloth diapering a newborn very soon.  Brody's belly button is struggling with getting to the actual "belly button" phase, so cloth diapering is still on hold.  I'm also nervous to start cloth diapering two but I'm guessing it might be easier than I'm imagining.

Until I decide that writing is more important than napping... :)

Justin snapped this the other morning.  He likes to sleep like me :)  I literally slept with my mom there for about 4-5 hours without moving.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Birth Story: Brody Lawrence Part 2

Warning this is LONG!

Read Part 1 here.
Took this photo while in labor at home.  40 weeks 3 days

So where did I leave off?  I'm pretty sure I was telling Justin I was having some contractions but was going to try to take a nap.  So I slept from about 2-3:15 while Kayla was sleeping.  When I woke up, I had slept so well I was completely confused as to what time it was and where I was, totally disoriented.

Eventually I realized it was the afternoon and Kayla would likely be up from her nap at any moment.  And then I had another contraction.  I decided maybe I should time them since I was thinking this might be happening any time now.  The first 2 I timed were about 24 minutes apart, and then they started to be about 8-12 minutes apart pretty consistently.  I got another text from Justin asking how I was feeling and I told him I was having contraction at about the same intensity (not too painful, mainly just tightening) about every 10 minutes.  I think he was a little freaked out being at work but I told him I was fine.  When he got home from work at 5ish, they were still about 10 minute apart on average.

We got dinner ready for Kayla and played with her for our normal night time routine.  This routine includes us tickling her until she is in a fit of giggles.  She's hilarious.  We started her bed time routine at the normal time, and as usual, she wanted Mama to put her to bed.  I couldn't get through one line of Twinkle, Twinkle without crying.  I just knew it would be my last time putting her to sleep as my only child.  (A blogger recently wrote about how we take so much care to mark our child's firsts, but we never think about the lasts.  This really hit me hard after that.  Maybe the lasts are more important.)

At around 7:30 or 8:00, the contractions were still not terribly painful but were about 7-8 minutes apart on average.  Linda (my midwife) had asked me to call her around this point so she could get an idea of how I was progressing and so that she knew that she may have to head to the hospital.  When I got a hold of her, she told me to call back/head to the hospital if they got more painful (say a 7-8/10 on the pain scale), if they progressed to 4-5 minutes apart, or if I felt like I had to poop during the contractions (a sign the baby's head was really low and pressing down.)  She then told me again to make sure we ate something, rested a bit and maybe took a shower.  I told her I was making a PB&J sandwich as we speak.

After I got off the phone, we called my mom to tell her what was going on.  She was going to head over to "watch" Kayla while she slept so we could head to the hospital whenever we needed to.  Justin and I proceeded to get our hospital bags ready so we could just get in the car and go.  I hopped in the shower (best shower ever).  By the time Mom got here, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart, sometimes closer, but not a lot more painful.  I was hesitant to go to the hospital too early and have to sit around and labor in the bed there instead of at home.

We continued to watch the Packer game in good spirits.  I decided to call Linda again at about 10 pm and tell her what was going on.  She said she thought we should head to the hospital because she had a feeling I would "go quickly."  We headed out between the 3rd and 4th quarter of the game.  On the way, I kept getting texts from my mom, updates on the football game. :)

Walking to labor and delivery...see I'm still clearly not in THAT much pain.
We got to the hospital about 10:20 and I told Justin to just park in the garage and we could walk.  I was doing ok and the contractions weren't that bad.  On our walk in, we walked through the ER waiting area where everyone was watching the Bears/Packers game (I was wearing my maternity Packers shirt).  The security guard gave me a little bit of a "look."  I covered my shirt and said I was wearing the wrong shirt and smiled.  He smiled and asked if we were headed for labor and delivery.  I responded yes and that we knew where we were going.  (The Packers won, if you forgot or were wondering.) :)

We ran into Linda in the hallway who was surprised I was walking.  I told her they weren't really painful.  She said, "Well good, because I'm going to try to convince you to let me break your water and speed this up."  I'm not going to lie, I was really scared of this whole labor because it was so different from what happened with Kayla.  I was pretty comfortable and things weren't too painful, and I knew once she broke my water, things would get real.

We got to the registration desk, I had to sign something really quick and then they had me in a room in 5 minutes.  (Much much better than what happened with Kayla.  They clearly knew I was on my way and had all of our pre-registration info already.)  Once in the room, I stripped down and put on the hospital gown and belly band thing to keep the monitors on.  The nurse hooked me up to the contraction and fetal monitors and had to ask me a million questions since for some reason all my information wasn't on the electronic medical record.  It was ok, we joked with her and laughed through my contractions.  Someone came in to prep the "delivery table" and Linda came in at about 11:15 or so to ask how things were going.  She said she wanted to break my water and she thought that would really make the baby come quickly.  I told her I was nervous about that because I wanted a natural labor without drugs, but I was ready to have this baby.  She came back about 15 minutes later, checked me (I was 6 cm) and broke my water.  At this point, I had a new nurse after shift change, Ashely, who was super nice.  I had an IV hooked up "just in case" because my blood pressures had been high all day.  Linda thought it was just because I was in labor.  Duh.  Do people in labor have normal blood pressures? :)

Anyways, after Linda broke my water, things definitely got real.  I was still laying in bed being monitored.  I was really having to focus on breathing through the contractions.  I was squeezing Justin's hand like crazy.  I told him I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle this much longer.  Linda came back in and I told her I wasn't sure how much more I could take.  She suggested some Dilaudid  through the IV to "take the edge off" without having to get the epidural, not to mention the anesthesiologist was with a c-section birth at the moment so who knew how long it would take to get there.  I agreed to the Dilaudid.  I asked if I could please stand up and get out of bed, because laying there was really not helping the pain.  I was able to get up and stand next to the bed.  Ashley raised the bed nice and high so I could lean on it and rock back and forth.  This helped a little but not much.  After about 4 contractions, I started to feel a huge urge to push and that I had to go #2.  I was making noises I didn't even know I could or wanted to make during the contractions and begging Linda to do something.  She told me to push "gently" during the contractions if that helped.  She finally said after one more contraction maybe I should lay back down and she should check me again.  After another one, she asked if I could wait one more, I said no please let me lie down and push.

I managed to get back in the bed.  Honestly, things happened so quickly that I remember her checking me and saying I was 8 but I'm not sure when exactly this was.  But when I laid back down, she told me to grab my knees and push with the contractions.  She said to listen closely and if she said to push for 2 seconds and then stop pushing and blow, it was because she was trying to help me not tear.  All I felt in the next 10 minutes was the famed "ring of fire" and that I literally wouldn't be able to push this baby out of me it hurt so bad.  I grabbed my legs with Justin's help and pushed with all my might but felt like nothing was happening.  Everyone kept saying Baby was so close and that I could do it, although I didn't feel like it.  I think I pushed for about 10 minutes and then Linda pulled out the baby and held him up so we could see the sex.  It's a boy!  It's a boy that is peeing on me right after I pushed him out of my who-ha.  :)  He was very swollen and VERY big.

See how swollen and bruised he is...poor little man.

This is what I look like after a fast and furious drug free labor and an hour and 15 minutes of getting stitched up...not good.

Me with my baby boy.
From the time Linda broke my water to the time Brody was born, it was about 45 minutes.  Maybe an hour.  I think I only had like 7-8 really really painful contractions.  Thank God because I'm not sure how much longer I would have lasted.  I never slept that night (he was born at 12:32 am).  I was on some sort of high.  I could not believe I just delivered an almost 10 pound baby without any medication.  I felt like super woman.

Remember when I told you in part 1 that Linda told me she thought the baby was 8-8.5 pounds?  She lied.  They finally weighed Brody in at 9 pounds 14.6 ounces.  Then I hear Ashley say, "You were right on Linda!"  Apparently she was super close when she guessed the weight.  I said, "Wait you told me 8 pounds!"  She said she lied and she didn't want to scare me.  LOL.  I really love having her as my care provider.

The downside to this whole situation was that Linda was super successful in helping me not tear externally while delivering an almost 10 pound baby, which is amazing to me.  But something odd happened internally and I had a very large ring like tear and a hematoma had formed.  Linda called in the OB from her practice that was on call that night to stitch me up.  It took them 1 hour and 15 minutes, the OB had to cut an episiotomy after the fact to stitch inside, I got about 5-6 shots of local anesthetic, and remember that Dilaudid I was supposed to get during labor?  Yeah, it was too quick.  I got in during the stitching up instead.  That was probably the worst hour and 15 minutes of my life, but at least Justin got to hold Brody, even though I wanted him to hold my hand.  So he did both.  He is my angel.

So happy to be a family of four now!

Up all night :)


I had to take a bunch of pictures.  We had a lot of time just the two of us. :)

He's a really good cuddler.

Kayla meeting her brother for the first time.

Little elf.

I think he's going to be a pretty clam, easy going baby...like his dad.
Side note:  The first time I called to get a hold of Linda from home, the guy who answered had a series of questions to ask.  When he picked up I said I was calling to get a hold of Linda since I thought I was in labor.  One of the questions he asked, "Are you pregnant?"  Um...yes!

Another interesting note...Brody's head shrunk 8 centimeters in 3 days!  No, I'm not kidding.  The poor kid was so swollen and bruised from the fast and furious delivery.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Birth Story: Brody Lawrence Part 1

My due date had come and gone.  In fact 3 more days had passed as well.  I was hoping I wouldn't make it to my appointment with Linda, my midwife, on Thursday, but it wasn't looking good on Wednesday night.

Justin and I went to bed, me fully knowing we'd be seeing Linda tomorrow and getting a non-stress test.  I woke up early in the morning with a few painful contractions but nothing too serious.  I had been having on and off painful and non painful contractions for about 2 weeks at this point.  Justin left extra early for work so he could come to my appointment with me.  Kayla and I went about our morning business then got ready to head out.

My appointment with Linda was at 10 am.  Justin met us there.  The receptionists and everyone else there were very happy to see Kayla, but sorry I hadn't had the baby yet.  :)  Linda's nurse brought us back, I got weighed, my blood pressure checked and then she hooked me up to the fetal and contraction monitors for the non-stress test.  It wasn't recording Baby's heartbeat very well so after a bit, Linda came in and said she wanted to do an ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid levels before the technician left for the day.  So off to the US we went.

She said my fluid was a little low, but within the normal range.  During this US, despite my strong "girl" feelings, I got a very strong "boy" feeling for some reason.  Justin asked about the baby's size and she told us it wasn't very reliable at this point in pregnancy.

We headed back to the room to be hooked up to the non-stress test again.  During the 15-20 minute test, I had 4 pretty regular contractions.  Not terribly painful, very much like what I had been having for weeks so I thought nothing of it.  When Linda came back in she said, "Are you in labor?" with a smile. I said, I don't know.  Haha.  She continued to check me and stripped my membranes (I had this done with Kayla as well).  Said I was 3.5-4 cm.  (How the heck was I not in labor???)

Linda then asked me to lie down so she could try to get an idea of how big the baby was.  She then said she had a feeling the baby was pretty big and that if she didn't see us tonight or tomorrow in the hospital, we were to call her and likely schedule an induction for Monday or Tuesday because she was worried about the baby's size and the fluid levels.  I said, "How big are we talking?"  She replied, "Oh I don't know, 8 or 8.5 pounds?"  Phew...I think.  (This is sort of important later in the story.)

After our appointment, Kayla and I were going to meet Gigi for lunch and ice cream, but she had to stay at home with the decorator for their new kitchen reno.  So Kayla and I went to the grocery store quickly and got lunch at Corner Bakery.  I kinda had a feeling it was going to be our last Mommy and me date for a little while.

When we got home, Kayla went down for her nap and I text with Justin telling him I was having somewhat regular, not painful contractions but I was going to try to take a nap.  I was able to nap for about an hour and 15 minutes and when I woke up, I had slept so soundly I was confused what time it was and what exactly was going on...

To be continued. :)

Thursday morning before our crazy day began.  I love my little girl so so very much. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

August Family/Maternity Photos 2012

In the middle of October, we had some family/maternity photos done.  I'm not gonna lie, it was a little hard for me to come to terms with finding another photographer since we had used Rachel Naft in DC for engagement, wedding, maternity and newborn photos.  But, turns out there was a photographer who is a friend's sister/someone I knew in Chicago.  And her prices are totally fair and her photos are great!  So this post is very photo heavy.

All photos are compliments of Jordann Tomasek Photography.  Check her out on Facebook.  She's great to work with and the photos came back to us so quickly!

Thanks Jordann!  Hopefully this baby will come soon so we can get some newborn photos done!  (P.S. Today is Grandparents Day, it would be a nice day to have a baby.  I'm just saying, Universe!)